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The Society for the Environment's Policy and Parliamentary Lead, Dr Tatum Matharu, updates us on policy work taking place at the Society for our email newsletter. Initially posting once every two months.

 

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Top tags: Brexit  CEnv  Environment  Environmental Professionals  Industrial Strategy  Policy  REnvTech  Survey 

Environmental Professionals Survey 2017

Posted By Phil Underwood, 24 August 2017
Updated: 24 August 2017

There have been some huge and surprising political events since our last policy update: a snap general election has been called, fought and won – just about – and a new Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been drafted in. We're now into a two-year parliamentary session dealing with all things 'Brexit', which includes separate Agriculture and Fisheries Bills. But Parliament is currently in its summer recess, so we can afford to take a moment to pause and reflect.  

And what better way to do that than analysing some freshly collated survey data in the sunshine?! Back in January, the Society launched a survey of its registered environmental professionals to find out more about the experience, knowledge and opinions of this diverse group of experts. The survey closed in May and our team has since been reviewing the results. 

We included a number of questions on 'green issues' - salient matters on the environmental policy horizon. Of course, being developed just a few months after the referendum result to leave the EU, the survey asked questions around Brexit, which was not only salient but marked by an even greater degree of uncertainty than now. Asked about the major EU environmental laws to be replaced, we found that respondents' policy priorities were evenly spread. Rated on a scale of 1-10, all the options averaged around 5. The vertical axis of the following chart is stretched around point 5 to magnify the results.


Policy Priorities for Government Post-Brexit


Focusing on the fundamental issue underpinning questions about Brexit next steps, survey respondents were asked about their views on regulation more generally. We found overwhelming support for regulation, both for ‘ordinary people’ and for industry, as these charts demonstrate: 


Environmental Laws for Ordinary People



Environmental Laws for Industry



These views are, of course, subject to change, particularly in light of the significant policy changes on the horizon. The scale and pace of the change post-Brexit has allowed scope for much debate and speculation, and these survey results capture our respondents’ insights at one point in time. 

These results may provide the foundation for more in-depth policy work – for example on the future of environmental regulation – and they will certainly provide the starting point for tracking environmental professionals’ views as they may change over time. 

The Society will conduct its survey of environmental professionals annually, repeating some areas of questioning to generate longitudinal data while also responding to ‘live’ policy issues for greater, and statistically significant, insight.

Keep an eye out for further snippets of our survey results in the coming weeks! The full report will be available for download from our website in mid-September.

The Society would like to thank all of our survey respondents as well as those Licensed Bodies’ members of staff that helped to distribute the survey.

Dr Tatum Matharu, Policy and Parliamentary Lead.

Tags:  Brexit  CEnv  Environmental Professionals  REnvTech  Survey 

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June 2017

Posted By Phil Underwood, 07 June 2017
Updated: 24 August 2017

Industrial Strategy Response

We now have a Policy and Parliamentary Lead in post at the Society, dedicated to delivering our strategic aim of facilitating the collective influence of environmental professionals. Part of this role involves responding to Government consultations and calls for evidence.

One recent example of this relates to the Government’s proposed industrial strategy (before the June 8th election). The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s green paper Building our Industrial Strategy sets out a vision for improving living standards and driving economic growth, however it did not adequately consider the environment in its plans.

We collaborated with our Constituent Bodies to share key messages in our response.

First and foremost, we underlined the need for sustainability in the industrial strategy, emphasising that economic sustainability is predicated on environmental sustainability and that long-term and holistic stewardship of our natural capital is the foundation of sustainable growth.

We called upon the Government to honour its commitments made under the Paris Agreement and Climate Change Act and to demonstrate leadership in working towards implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In light of our forthcoming negotiations in exiting the European Union, we stressed the importance of continued collaboration with our European neighbours, calling for recognition that our common resources are not bound by national borders. 

We repeatedly championed the value of Chartered Environmentalists and Registered Environmental Technicians as competent environmental professionals working across a range of sectors and technical disciplines, who are able to participate in stakeholder engagement activities to ensure that good practice is implemented and the highest environmental standards are upheld.

You can read the Society’s full response here and view wider policy work on our dedicated policy page, including previous responses to consultations.

Dr Tatum Matharu, Policy and Parliamentary Lead


Sign Up for Newsletters

The Society for the Environment Newsletter is available to all Chartered Environmentalists and Registered Environmental Technicians, as well as all those interested in the work of the Society and our registrants. To find out how to sign up to receive these directly to your inbox, please follow the appropriate links below:

  • Chartered Environmentalists and Registered Environmental Technicians, opt-in via your website account. Find out how here
  • Other interested parties, please simply sign up here. A website account will be set up for you, where you can amend your preferences at any time. 

Tags:  Environment  Industrial Strategy  Policy 

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